This week has been great! On Monday we went out joint teaching, and we had some "interesting" experiences with him in the evening. We met a woman whose sister referred herself on mormon.org. We talked with her for a moment, and then she stopped us. She said that she wanted to be honest with us, and she said that she didn't have a clue what we were saying to her because she had been drinking and smoking weed. We set up another time to meet with her, and she said that she would "fast" from smoking weed for our 6:00 PM appointment haha! People here crack me up ;) We finished the evening teaching some teenage kids that I found in our Area Book. They were taught forever ago, and then they dropped off the face of the Earth. We stopped by, taught them, and set up a return appointment. One was not really feeling the baptismal invite, but the other was all game! It was a great evening, even though we ran into a bunch of Word of Wisdom problems because of Memorial Day.
On Tuesday we had District Meeting, and afterwards I went on exchange with elder in another area. It was an interesting exchange, but not very productive. It is hard jumping around from area to area, especially when things are going well in your own area! We had a lesson with an investigator in our area, and I was elsewhere. We had a joint teacher in their area for the evening. But we didn't teach anyone, and I felt like it was kind of a waste of time. Our joint teach was SUPER negative about the conditions of their ward, and it was just kind of an off evening.
On Wednesday we exchanged back, and had an AMAZING lesson with our investigator. We talked about prayer with him, and answered a lot of his questions. He discussed how our Church has "freelance" prayers, and how in other Churches they have set prayers. We talked about how our prayers for the Sacrament, and for Baptisms are set, and all other prayers follow a certain formula (Dear Heavenly Father, We Thank Thee, We Ask Thee, In The Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.) We talked about how God answers our prayers, and he mentioned that he had not prayed in a very long time. At the end of our lesson we invited him to pray, but he said that he would need to take a rain check, however, he committed to pray on his own at home. Afterwards we went out joint teaching. We picked up two investigators and attended a baptism in the Medicine Lake Ward. The kids enjoyed it, but the baptismal service wasn't super great. There was a lot of last minute details that were overlooked, so the baptism was thrown together and didn't pan out super fantastic. We finished off the evening by stopping by the bread lady. She introduced herself to my companion and we had a nice discussion while she loaded us up with bread, and a few cupcakes. Such a sweet lady!
On Thursday we went out joint teaching. We had a lesson with our investigator’s kids outside, because she wasn't feeling fell. We talked about baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Holy cow, the mosquitoes are back! I think I probably got eight or nine mosquito bites during the lesson. It was worth it though, but I will for sure have to figure out my mosquito situation. Any tips on avoiding mosquito bites? Someone suggested taking odorless garlic pills, so I started taking those a few months ago religiously, but it hasn't worked out. Probably because they are odorless, and mosquitoes don't even know it is in your system. Maybe I will have to get some bug spray, but I absolutely HATE how it smells. We finished off the evening with a lesson with an investigator family. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically faith and repentance. It was a great lesson, and it answered a lot of their questions. They even agreed to come to Church on Sunday!
On Friday we had an awesome Weekly Planning session, and then my companion had a baptismal interview for a woman in the other ward Ward. We did a Church tour with her before the interview, and everything went really well. Afterwards we ate at this restaurant called "Delicious Chow Mein." It was not delicious! In fact it kind of made me sick. I couldn't drink my water, because it had something floating at the top of it, and the experience was just kind of sickening. NEVER AGAIN! Afterwards we went out joint teaching, and all of the appointments we had with four of our investigators fell through. It was kind of trying, but everyone has those days I guess. At the end of the evening we got a phone call from President Clements. He told us that he wanted to come out joint teaching with us on Sunday afternoon from 2:45-5:00 PM. AHH! We were freaking out haha! We didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night as you can imagine, but we had a pretty good plan in place for Sunday.
On Saturday we got a phone call from our Zone Leaders informing us that a less-active member in Eagan, Minnesota was moving to Bloomington, Minnesota with her boyfriend who lives in our area and that he needed help moving. We biked over to his place and helped him out with his move, and arranged for the Assistants in Bloomington to help them unpack when they arrived. It was a great start to the day! Afterwards we taught our Jehovah's Witness friend. We had a nice discussion with him, and he was a lot kinder to us this time. We were able to teach him about the Restoration of our Church, but he didn't accept a Book of Mormon or the baptismal invitation. Maybe one day though! As we were walking back to our apartment, it began to sprinkle a little bit. All of the sudden the sprinkle turned into a little bit harder rain, and then it poured and thundered, and we were soaked! A sweet old lady pulled over and offered us a ride, but we can't be alone with someone of the opposite gender unless there are three of us. So we trudged back to our apartment, completely soaked. We changed, and hung out our clothes. Later we walked over to an investigator's home and had a great lesson with him on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was super exhausted, but we had a great discussion with him :) He committed to stop drinking coffee, because he relapsed on his previous commitment, and he committed to come to Church with his family on Sunday. As we walked back, it rained again. I brought a jacket this time, but my companion was soaked!
On Sunday we had our special 11:00 AM Sacrament Meeting combined with the other. The entire time I was reminded of when the Grandview 21st Ward boundaries were realigned, and we were stuck in the Grandview 9th Ward. The other ward was terminated, and they were all added to the our ward. Everyone in the other ward was released, and now we have a massive ward, and three sets of missionaries. Honestly, I wasn't super thrilled about the change, but I know that somehow this is the Lord's plan for this area. (I still don't think the Grandview 21st Ward realignment was part of the Lord's plan. People make mistakes all the time! Elder Uchtdorf even gave a talk about it a while ago.) Everything will work out in the end, it will just take some getting used to. We had five families planning on attending Sacrament Meeting, and not a single one of them showed up. It was a trying start to the day, and coming up we had our appointments with President Clements. Yikes! We changed, and went out with President Clements at 2:45 PM and went over to the Sims home, our first appointment for the afternoon. They were supposed to have come to Church earlier, so we were interested to see what was going to happen. We called ahead, and they said that they were out shopping but should be home for the appointment. We showed up, and NO ONE was home. Awkward! So we went tracting with President Clements. It was actually a super cool experience! President Clements is amazing at working with people, so it was quite productive. We even went walking with a man for a while, while President taught him. Afterwards we went over and had a lesson with some investigators. We were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation and answering some of his questions, but President Clements took the lesson in a different direction. He told the husband that he was going home soon and that he wanted to help him as much as he can before he leaves. He said that we had a lesson prepared, but that if he had any questions, he would like to teach him. Our investigator brought up some of his concerns with the Church, and he and President Clements and had a great discussion! At the end of the lesson he agreed to begin reading the Book of Mormon, and arranged to meet with President Clements at the Mission Home next Sunday. It was incredible! His wife’s eyes were huge the entire time, because she was amazed at her husbands responses to President Clements. Afterwards we were talking with President Clements on the drive home, and he said that when he has free time he looks at the pictures of all the missionaries, and the Spirit tells him where he is needed. He said that our pictures stood out to him, so he called and arranged joint teaching. He said it is usually for the missionaries themselves, or for a particular investigator. He told us that he needed to be there for our investigator, and we completely agreed! He told us that he would be converted, but that it would be a slower, but consistent process. He said that he is like no other investigator he has met on his mission. It was super cool :) I decided to push my limits a little bit, and so I expressed my concerns with the upcoming transfers next week. He patted my arm and said that my companion and I would be fine, and that we were going to have a very successful transfer next transfer. AWESOME :) In the evening we went to a girl in the ward’s graduation party to meet with her friend again. We had a discussion outside while making s'mores, and getting attacked by mosquitoes. It was a great ending (besides the mosquitoes) to a great day (minus the start of the day haha)!
Thank you all for your love and support! Things are going well, and I am excited to see what the future has to hold for us :) Talk to you next week!
Elder Kyle William Andrews